Wednesday, July 12, 2017

John's Adventure on the Coosa ----Part 7 Becoming Acquainted With John M. Ganus

Sternwheeler, Magnolia, Coosa, Gasden, Rome Georgia,
The Magnolia 

The beautiful sternwheeler, the Magnolia, slowed as it approached the wharf where anxious crowds of people waited for its arrival. There was always excitement in the air when the riverboats arrived and curious towns people always gathered to watch as the passengers descended from the boat, then lingered a little longer while the cargo was unloaded. Wednesday, April 14, 1875 would have been no different as John Ganus arrived on the Magnolia. According to newspaper, John would have paid $1.00 for the round trip from Rome, Georgia to Gadsden, Alabama which is about $22.00 in today's money.

That day the Magnolia's freight consisted of 45 tons of pig iron, 1 lot of cotton seed, 1 bale of cotton and a variety of other merchandise. Typically the Magnolia traveled back and forth from Gadsden to Rome, sometimes making little stops along the way. Had perhaps John taken some things to Gadsden to sell?


The Magnolia was a sternwheeler which is a paddleboat and according to "Haunted Etowah County, Alabama," by Mike Goodson, "The Magnolia was the largest and most elaborate riverboat to make the voyage from Rome to Gadsden."  

On the first of July, 1875, in a newspaper article entitled, "Down the Coosa" the author described a "run to Gadsden and back" and told about the beauty of the trip. The article began with 


"No one who has not taken a trip from Rome to Gadsden upon the swan-like Magnolia, has any conception of the beautiful woodland and farm scenery that meets the eye at every turn of the majestic Coosa."  (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ngnewspapers/id:rtc1875-0255)

The author went on to say, 
"As the Magnolia moved around the curves of the tortuous Coosa, presenting at every turn beautiful scenes of waving fields of corn that stretched out from the banks of the river, so darkly green, and the deep foliage of woodland, trees and vines, interlaced by intense luxuriance, it was a refreshing sight . . . In the back ground of these, and for miles distant, can be seen along nearly the whole route majestic mountains and ridges, or spurs of the Lookout chain. "


The author went on to tell that the Magnolia was willing to make landings along the way to assist both the rich who traveled first class and the poor who had very little. 

Although the Magnolia had accommodations for the wealthy class, which included a wonderful dining room, entertainment, and rooms to sleep in, many of the travelers traveled on the lower level and brought their own food. I suspect John would have been found on the lower level. 


The question that remains, however, is just which John Ganus was on the Magnolia that day? Was it a fifty-five-year-old John Monroe Ganus or was it his single twenty-one-year-old son, John Thackason Ganus? 


In either case, I wonder which members of the Ganus family were waiting at the dock for John that day and I wonder if family gathered together that night to hear John's tales of the Magnolia and his adventure on the Coosa.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2017, All rights reserved

Rome Tri-Weekly Courier, April 13, 1875, page 2, http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ngnewspapers/id:rtc1875-0118

4 comments:

  1. Mystery...but interesting reading the fine print on the ad and noticing that editors and their wives, ministers and their wives, go for free!

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  2. Michelle, I have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. https://mam-massouthernfamily.blogspot.com/2017/07/blogger-recognition-award.html. Thank you for your interesting blog. It's great reading about other southern research!

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